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The Best College Graduation is at CalArts -- A Photo Essay

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Back in the heyday of CalArts, there are true stories of graduation ceremonies where the president of the institute would make his entrance by helicopter or where Lilian Disney (Walt's Sister) was writing a very large check to the school on stage only for a large inflated penis to be thrown from the roof of the building onto her. Once, when a students name was read, he repelled from the roof to the stage.

But the best story goes to the institute president who left by air balloon. Apparently, the wind blew him further than he wanted to go and he ended up in the desert like setting of pre-developed Santa Clarita. He flagged down a car to get a ride back to town. They said they were lost and looking for the CalArts graduation.

Graduations at CalArts are a bit more tame these days, but still are unlike any traditional college with the cap and gown. Here, you go with what you wear and what you make of it. When this LAist writer graduated four years ago, he stood in line for his diploma next to a man who painted his whole body in red. We haven't seen any people nude, clad only in a boa constrictor (like back in the 80's), but CalArts students still dress for the occasion.

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Photos after the jump...

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That was the official slogan from the 2005 graduation. And that is a picture of Paul Rubens, aka Pee Wee Herman, an alumnus of CalArts and past president of the Alumni Association before he went to Jail as shown in this picture.


Since the first graduation at CalArts, Kobla and his wife Beatrice have led the procession and recession. Here's a slice of that.

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If you're going to get dressed up, you should put a bathrobe over it. Awesome.

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Old-school bathing suits and the Knight in his Armor complete with mardi gras beads

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What's important about the guy on the left is the alcohol (it is most definitely allowed) in his hand and his 99-cent store bag of goodies. What pranks will he pull during the ceremony? And go dude in the red.

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At CalArts, you are allowed to bring dogs to class. Same goes for graduation. Is that girl on the left wearing a Harry Potter outfit?

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Fact: Walt Disney founded CalArts

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Notice the girl on the right with her bark wood tiara

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This is CalArts Bob. He is the unofficial mascot and cheerleader of CalArts. He attends more concerts and parties at CalArts than anyone else can endure. He never graduated or even attended the school -- he's just a good neighbor.